Review of Pentax 645D at Imaging Resource
Link - http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/645D/645DA.HTM
As a long time Pentax user it's nice to see them on the up again. With the release of the 645D and the K-5 they are getting lots of attention for these cameras and the reviews of both are extremely positive. Interesting that this happens at a time when they have separated from Samsung.
Pentax have always been a real camera company. In film days they produced everything from compact cameras to medium format. Today they are the only major camera manufacturer, apart from Leica to do the same. Lack of commercial success and a decline in market share has caused them to loose direction somewhat. They entered the DSLR marketplace late and until now have been producing decent but fairly run of the mill offerings. The 645D and K-5 look set to change that.
I've always rated their ability to produce photographer-friendly camera designs and as stated before I applaud their attitude of bigger isn't better. The K-5 is a great camera, both ergonomically and in terms of image quality. Finally Pentax have got there with the latter. The K-x gave encouraging signs that they were finally able to source a decent sensor. The 16MP Sony Exmor is certainly the best APS-C sensor I've ever used and its nice to be able to state that the 18-55mm kit zoom is actually a decent lens. You'd certainly never guess that from the K-7.
My constant frustration at Olympus not providing a good enough sensor to take advantage of their excellent lenses used to apply to Pentax as well, but they have finally done something about it. I'm currently having thoughts about what lens (lenses) to get for the K-5. Unfortunately the limited series 31mm, 43mm and 77mm have all shot up in price since I last had the set and I'm not sure I want to spend £2300 on getting them again. I have already had three 31mm f/1.8's. All got sold because of my disappointment with the sensors Pentax chose, though I bought the first one in my film days & got fed up waiting for Pentax to come up with a digital SLR!!
You do certainly need patience to be a Pentax user. Look at the time the 645D has taken. Ultimately I think this has been their problem. I've certainly got fed up with waiting for them to come up with the goods and I'm sure I'm not alone. However on the positive side, lets hope that things get a little speedier in the future. It would be a real shame if they eventually stopped making cameras, because of their history, and I hope that will concentrate on what they do best, which is make robust small quality DSLR's and the incredible 645D, which I'm convinced will be a good seller.
Just finally on the 645D camera. Here's a video of the camera in use. Anyone who has ever used the film version will know just how good that camera was for hand holding. In fact 95% of my shots with it were taken that way. 40MP in a camera lighter than a D3X.
Finally may I wish all of you Happy New Year and best wishes for 2011.